The title line came to me while sitting in the car one day, and that's how I decided to open the season with this Berenstain Bears book. Growing up, this book was one of my favorites; my own Mama Dawg read it to me numerous times while trying to get me to go to sleep. This was a bit tough to convert to strictly poetic form since the story relies so heavily on the visual humor of Papa Bear hilariously breaking every safety rule he quotes to Small Bear. Figuring out who is speaking is also aided by pictures, so instead of adding clunky dialogue tags or mentioning names in every section (although I try to do it a lot), I have bolded Papa Dawg's parts, italicized Mama Dawg's, and left Small Dawg's normal. I tried to space this out so I could break up this long batch of text, but the formatting won't let me. Another note of interest: The story I have Papa Dawg tell for Rule #3 is actually a true story I heard a Gamecock fan tell on the radio about how he reacted to Pollack's famous interception/TD.
I had made a bonus alternative version picture sequence of what this might have looked like had I done this after the South Carolina game last year, but since this is a mostly optimistic poem, I decided to post that sequence only if we lose (so there's that to look forward to if we lose, I guess [yay silver linings!]). Instead, I have posted a gif of Jordan Jenkins hurdling Brendan Douglas in practice for your viewing pleasure. For your reading pleasure, feel free to check out UGAprrthd's Jimmy Buffett parody if you haven't yet done so. With apologies to Stan and Jan Berenstain:
Ed3484 iMovie Project: The Bears Vacation (via LaceyMariaa)
Here's the original version. (Not that I know why it formats like this.)
Hooray! Hooray! We're on our way!
College football starts today!
And here we are! What a wonderful sight!
Let's turn on the TV! Let's stay up all night!
Small Dawg! Small Dawg! Don't you sit down yet.
You need to hear things before you get set.
Don't you worry, Mama Dawg.
We'll help him through this memory jog.
I'm listening, Dad! Mama Dawg, let's go!
Then here is the first rule you should know.
Do not leave the room during the game
or you might miss big plays, which is a shame.
Like that time Papa Dawg was on the throne
and he missed that fumble By Jarvis Jones?
Oh yes, Small Dawg. That fact still smarts.
We must be prepared or risk broken hearts.
Thanks, Papa Dawg! I'll bring all my snacks
and only leave the room when commercials attack.
You must control your talking, too.
Words are important, says rule number two.
Think first. Then yell when you get mad.
You don't want to say anything mean or bad.
Like when Mama told those garnet jocks
Just where they could stick their big, Smelley--
Right, my son! I mean, um, sorry, hon.
Your mama's the best! This is all in fun.
So rule number two is not my fave.
But rule number three makes Dad misbehave.
Now let's ask Dad about rule number three.
Do not throw things at the TV.
Like Papa did when Bama won?
Last year's big Dome game wasn't much fun.
The endzone was too far away.
The Dawgs could not get five more yards that day.
So, with hat in hand, I threw
it at the TV; It busted right through.
The metal buckle In hat's back
somehow screen's glass surface did crack.
But this weekend is more than just this night, my son.
College football has only begun.
Because Saturday night, after sun's dive
will be your first time to watch the Dawgs live.
We'll wear our red tops and our red and black caps;
buckle our buckles and strap on our straps.
Walk down the steps in enemy lands
and settle our stuff to sound of the bands.
As the game starts, we'll cheer with care.
We'll only yell when our defense is there.
But Dad! Can't we cheer when we score?
Or for good things done by Dawgs before?
Yes, Small Dawg, we'll make some noise.
But only when it won't hurt our boys.
Too much loud sound can harm our O
and make it hard for them to go.
I'll yell like Mama! She can cheer good.
She yells at the screen like a good Dawg should.
Mama's the best! Her yells are swell.
She'll tell those Tigers to go to--
We'll cheer our heads off like all good Dawgs do.
We'll behave like good Bulldogs, too.
Yes, son, we'll say sportsmanlike things,
even when the refs do bad flags fling.
Or coaches call bad plays. Or the D can't hit.
Or the backs drop balls or can't yards get.
Or receivers can't catch. Or the lines can't hold.
Or we hear of players being bought and sold.
Even if we lose before we go,
We'll shake it off and face the next foe.
Conference play is what matters the most;
To beat down the Gamecocks and Gators roast.
Winning the East and taking down the West
are the most important parts of Bulldogs' quest.
Let the pundits sort out the big mess:
Focus on games, not BCS BS.
Hmmm...football's tougher than I thought.
It all sounds like a big ol' knot!
Oh, Small Dawg, you are all too right,
but it's also a crazy delight.
All that we're saying will help to prepare you
for things that may both elate and scare you.
Now! Sit on the couch with your snacks
and watch the games and talk some smack.
We'll go to bed and dream Dawg dreams
of rings and roses for this new year, new team.
Thank you, Mama and Papa Dawg!
Would you two mind if I joined a Dawg blog?
Jordan Jenkins is ready for some college football.